This week’s 1+1 grant winner: South Middle School

RAPID CITY, S.D. -Every other week, NewsCenter1and First Interstate Bank team up to award a deserving area educator a $500 grant to help them improve and innovate in the classroom.

This week’s 1+1 recipient is a Geography teacher at South Middle School.

Mr. Andrew Ley takes a less than traditional route when it comes to teaching his students, which is why he was awarded the grant this week.

At the beginning of the school year, he wanted to give each of his students an access code to create a “Sims City” account.

“I teach a STEM-focused class called ‘cities of today, cities of tomorrow’ and we focus on futuristic cities. One of the big platforms for that class is we use the PC game Sim City to teach about problem-solving skills,” says Ley.  

In the game, kids can build their own cities and it requires life skills such as earning money, budgeting that money wisely, and designing everything in the virtual world.

Mr. Ley went ahead and made sure his kids have Sims accounts but now with the $500 he says he wants to start a new project.

Considering the bond vote coming up, he wants his student to create their own South Middle School. Students will have the opportunity to visualize and create a virtual version of what they want their school to look like.

“It really teaches them like how to build infrastructure cities and it’s something i think kids would really enjoy and may springboard into the future,” says Kelsey York, with First Interstate Bank.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News